Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cod, "Butt and King

These blog posts are coming thick and fast...........from Tracy Arm we headed to Baranof Island and Warm Spring Bay off Chatham Strait. There is a great short hike there, past the hot springs pool where one can soak right next to the rapids and crashing waterfall. The government dock is free to tie up so it does get a little crowded, we were grateful to the folks who budged up a bit to let us in. We fished a while off the dock because a salmon had just been caught but there was no luck for us. The next day we headed off at our usual serious hour to time a transit of Sergius Narrows and made a long run to our next harbour. A walk of the docks yielded the most important information for prospective fishermen - a massive catch being cleaned. Shipper Mike Yanak was happy to offer us places on his next outing at 0515 tomorrow so soon after we were in Salisbury Sound with a rod, line and real bait in our hands. We much prefer proper
What is this?
fishing rather than trolling. It turned
out to be a fantastic day, sunny
Ah.....one of these
 and calm, the weather in Alaska has been better than
anywhere en route so far this year. This Ling Cod was spectacular, fished right off the bottom at about 200 feet.
The bottom fishing was superb and we were catching quite a 
variety of species. There was

 even a Dover Sole which our
guides weren't too keen on but
'Butt of course
 I am looking forward to that
for supper tonight. Our real prey was King Salmon, or Chinook, the most highest prized fish here in Alaska. The method is mooching, where one drops a small dead herring attatched to a weight which slides on the line. The fish
take the bait carefully in their mouths and there isn't a strike. The slider
gives the fish time to take the bait without immediately feeling the weight. This is a very active method of fishing and it also involves driving around in the boat and finding a fish on the sonar and fishing at that precise depth - the reel has a depth counter on it so you know exactly where you are. One unexpected hazard that day was a big dog sea-lion who will eat your fish right off the hook, in the last four days he had stolen 25 Kings hooked up by one boat. Normally he can't catch salmon but he has learned fast. It was a race against time to get your fish on board before he ate it.

Here is how we got on. Maxed out our daily allowance, two Kings each. Fantastic result from an excellent team of Captains Mike and Assam at SE Adventures. If you want this kind of fishing check out http://www.seadventures.com/

The team cleaned our fish and vacuum packed it ready for Last Mango's freezer, along with some bags of pieces for crab bait. Our freezer is totally full...................... king salmon, halibut, and ling cod. Today goes straight into the Top Ten Fishing Days of All Time for us. 


  1. Ahhh. The memories. Grew up in Alaska myself, Dave. Many a time fishing, and Kings are a fond, fond memory. Livin the dream, baby! We're with you in spirit, and luck holding (investment wise) we'll be there in a few years.


  2. Dave, I emailed you a photo of you catching a fish that day. You really did luck out with the weather, and your pick of fishing Guides. Mike Yanak, and Assam really know how to catch the fish, even when everyone else is struggling.
    Happy sailing
    Pat McClean